KIPLING, Rudyard (author and illustrator). Just So Stories.

London: Macmillan And Co., Limited.,1902.

£800

Royal 8vo. Original deep red pictorial cloth; pp. [vi], [1]-249 + [iii]; illustrated throughout in line and silhouette with full-page plates and decorated initials by the author; an attractive copy with slightly dulled spine, slight browning to endpapers, otherwise very clean indeed. Provenance: bookplate of C.H. Hunter Blair (b. 1853), writer on Northumberland and Scottish antiquities.

First edition, presented in the preferable second issue binding, retaining the detail to the spine. The first issue binding failed because the white blocking to the spine did not adhere properly, and quickly began to flake.

This book is an undisputed classic of children's literature. It consists of stories which explain, in amusingly extravagant ways, how the distinguishing physical characteristics of various animals evolved. Kipling himself contributes many witty black-and-white illustrations which include several clever hidden jokes and references; for example many are signed with the monogram of an Ark enclosing a capital A, to be read as Ark A, or R.K., Kipling's initials.

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